Daily Devotional for Thursday April 17, 2003

Denying Christ

(John 18:15-27)

Denying Christ. One of the things that will always be associated with Peter is his denial of Christ after He was arrested. Peter becomes an easy target, and we often wonder how he could have been so close to the Lord, yet deny Him. In defense of Peter, let me first say that I have never been, nor have 99% of you reading this, been in a position where we could literally be killed for acknowledging our relationship with Jesus Christ. Peter was in fear for his life. I am not questioning your faith or love for the Lord, it is just something that none of us can say for sure unless we have actually been in that situation. That gets me to the point of today's Devotional. Peter denied Christ under fear for his life. Do you realize that every time you sin, rebel against God's plan and purpose for your life, you are also denying Christ?

I want you to focus today on the fact that God loves you so much, He sent His only son to this earth to die for your sins. When we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, we do it by God's grace and our faith in who Jesus Christ is, and what He did for us on the cross. We give our lives to Him and pledge to live for Him, to follow Him. Actually, that is what Peter did when the Lord called him from his job as a fisherman. He left his family and friends to follow Jesus. So every time that we sin, we are literally denying the very One that we committed our lives to.

Let me speak very plain. When we go out drinking and partying with the world, we are denying Christ. When we go out to adult establishments, cruise the Internet for pornography, watch XXX movies we are denying Christ. When we put our faith and trust in alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, or any other thing, we are denying Christ. When we are involved in sexual relationships outside of marriage we are denying Christ. When we cheat on our income taxes we are denying Christ. When we lie or gossip, we are denying Christ. My friend, anytime you are doing things that you know are in rebellion to God's Word...you are denying Him just like Peter did!!!

While Peter is our example today of denying Christ, he is also our hope. We read in the 21st Chapter of John, verses 15-17 how the Lord restores Peter. There is no doubt that Peter repented, asked for forgiveness, and we see the Lord forgiving him. In the Book of Acts, we read about the incredible way the Lord used Peter in the early days of the church. The lesson here is that even if you have denied Christ, you are not finished. If you repent, God will forgive you, restore you to fellowship, and use you for His glory.

I love you and care about you so much. At this special time of the year, I pray that if you have been denying the Lord, that you will repent and ask Him to forgive you. He loves you and will forgive you just like He did Peter. He has promised to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness in 1 John 1:9. He has a perfect plan and purpose for you. I pray today that if you have denied the Lord, that you will follow the example of Peter and allow Jesus to restore you to His fellowship. GOD STILL HAS MUCH FOR YOU TO DO IN YOUR LIFE! DON'T DENY HIM...LIVE FOR HIM!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller